“New moms are often flooded with opinions from all corners, and this added to my struggle to make decisions for my baby. LLB encouraged me to trust myself and my body and helped me to become a confident mother. I am grateful for all their guidance and support.” – Fellow mom in Live Love Babywear Support Group
Very few expecting women mentally gear up for the rollercoaster ride that lies ahead. Even after reading all books on parenting and infant care, there is a paramount overwhelming emotion that resonates within us when our tiny little precious baby is put on our bosom.
When the motherhood gene is put in gear, we find ourselves questioning our ability to carry out the simplest of tasks at hand. Post-delivery, every woman needs to be nurtured and reassured of the divine strength that lies within her. It does take a while to gain the motherhood balance and confidently stand tall. With an honest ambition to provide a positive and stress-free start to motherhood, Jasmine and Yaman build the Live Love Babywear cocoon.
Today they happily service 6000 plus mothers in their online mom community, all while working full-time. Jasmine works for Unilever, and Yaman is an art professor at JJ College of Architecture. Their platform has proved to be a pillar of strength and knowledge for new moms across the globe.
We had the amazing opportunity to sit with Jasmine and retrace her journey of building this beautiful platform Live Love Babywear, popularly called the LLB.
In conversation with Jasmine Bavan…
Hi Jasmine. Thank you so much for being with us! LLB is a beautiful platform for new moms. When and how did LLB start? What was the source of inspiration?
LLB started in July 2018. Yaman and I were a part of a babywearing library called Mumbai Sling Library. We branched out and built our mommy support group, a small community of 200 mothers, and called it Live Love Babywear. Today we have touched over 6000 lives!
Our inspiration was our love and passion for babywearing. We also wanted to create a new mom community where mothers could get all their doubts cleared without being judged. The advice given on this platform is based on scientific evidence that experts in their field have vetted.
We started with the Infant Breast-Feeding group, Solid Start group, Toddler Meal group, and Fitness for Moms group. The newer additions were the Pregnancy Support group, Cloth Diapering Group, OPOS Support group, the Sustainable Living group (initially, it was the sustainable menstruation group which has now branched into Sustaining Living covering broader aspects), the Potpourri Random Chatter group, and of course, we have our Babywearing Group. We also have a Preschool Engagement group catering to mothers with kids from 3 to 6 years.
What is the volume in each support group?
Managing so many groups on Whatsapp has been a challenge. It allows only 256 members in each group. To give you an insight, we currently have 11 Babywearing groups, 5 Infant Breastfeeding, 6 Solid Start group, 9 Toddler Meals groups, 5 Fitness for Moms, 3 OPOS groups, 4 Cloth Diapering groups, 9 Potpourri Random Chatter group, and 2 Sustainable Living groups.
What is OPOS?
OPOS (One Pot, One Shot) is a set of scientific cooking techniques designed to unchain you from the kitchen, cut drudgery and empower anyone to cook confidently. OPOS recipes use One Pot, and all cooking is done at one shot. No Steps. No supervision. From pasta to paneer makhani, OPOS recipes are easier and faster than cooking instant noodles.
How would you describe LLB? What is the USP of this online mom community for new moms?
LLB is a haven for mothers everywhere. It is a babywearing sling library and a support group for mothers where knowledge sharing is based on facts and scientific evidence only. Myth sharing is strongly discouraged. We have taken up the mantle for babywearing and breastfeeding. We encourage and support mothers to breastfeed as long as they want, even if it’s for five years. At the same time, we are inclusive of mothers who opt for formula milk. We stand by your decision and never shame or disrespect it in any way.
What would you say is the most challenging aspect of running a new mom support group?
Managing the array of LLB’s online mom network has been very difficult, and this is why we have slowly started the transition to a new platform called Telegram. We have shifted only three groups to Telegram and are gauging the response and the interaction level on the new platform. We will inevitably lose a few members, and if the engagement drops, then the move to telegram will be a failure. At the moment, we are trying to chart our way forward.
Has LLB established itself as a business?
LLB is a support group and hasn’t evolved into a business. We get some money from the rentals of baby carriers and the discount coupons that mothers use to purchase baby items. This amount is used for the day-to-day operational cost of LLB. We are all attached to LLB only because we want to offer a stress-free and exhilarating motherhood experience to as many mothers as possible.
What are the challenges you have faced while starting this platform? Tell us about one strategy used to overcome them?
We have been truly blessed. We started LLB with 200 new moms, and due to our constant engagement, we developed a personal connection with all of them. Within that group of 200, we had dieticians, pediatricians, homeopaths, and even cloth diapering experts. They helped vet all the information that we shared with the group. Even today, we share a close bond with every member of that group, and a lot of them are connected with LLB in one way or the other.
When LLB started, Yaman and I used to type out responses to various groups incessantly. Today each mommy support group has an introductory document catering to the frequently asked questions.
With the increasing number of members and groups, it became essential that Yaman and I took a step back to regulate the groups in a way that didn’t require our constant intervention. We were being stretched thin with our full-time jobs, our families, and our kids. So we introduced our team of moderators on LLB’s first anniversary in 2019.
These moderators are mothers who belong to the very first batch of our LLB group. They are helping us run these platforms so willingly. We don’t pay them because we are a support group. They are with us out of sheer joy and passion.
LLB is for concepts like Babywearing and Baby-Led Weaning. Do new moms have conflicting opinions, and how do you deal with those?
Yaman started her Babywearing journey when her child was four months old, and I started when my daughter was seven days old. My daughter is now almost five years old, and I continue to babywear her. We have adopted babywearing as a part of our lifestyles and boast about it in all its glory.
We have scientific explanations for all that we advocate. The brands that we associate with are vetted and verified. We use their products, and only then do they come onto the Live Love Babywear platform. During our meetups, we used to ask new moms to get their most skeptical family member, and we convince them about the benefits of babywearing on simple facts.
How has baby-led weaning suddenly emerged as a trend with new moms?
BLW is not new. We can trace it back to our grandparents. Our grandparents used to pick up food and eat from their parent’s plates. That is how a child learns to eat healthy home-cooked meals. Consumerism is what has taken us away from BLW.
Brands such as Cerelac were promoted as healthy and nutritious food. These false advertisements advocating packaged ready-to-cook meals as the food of choice for kids erased the concept of BLW. Now that mothers have become aware of the ingredients present in Cerelac, they have circled their way back to BLW.
Has social media been a critical element to Live Love Babywear’s growth? How have you managed to increase your follower base?
Social media and Whatsapp have contributed significantly to LLB’s success. We haven’t zoomed into increasing our follower base in the past. It is now that we are collaborating with mothers, Instagram influencers, and so on. With our full-time jobs and families to look after, this process becomes slow.
How do you think the Live Love Babywear support group is contributing to the Vocal for Local campaign?
Live Love Babywear collaborates with only local brands. The carrier for babywearing that we at LLB recommend is made in India. We believe that the products made in India are at par with what you get abroad. For example, there is hardly any difference between the cloth diapers made in India and those sold overseas. We keep telling our new moms that ‘Videshi Sab Kuch Acha Nahi Hota.’ Baby carriers made in India are breathable and can be used in the hot, humid Indian climate and cold weather. LLB has always promoted local talent, local products, and local services.
Also Read: Millets Are The Superfoods Our Kids Are Missing: Slurrp Farm Founder-Duo Meghana Narayan and Shauravi Malik
What do you do when you are not working?
I love cooking and I do so happily for my family of 6. I love to plan menus and execute them, and OPOS, the cooking technique, has made it more convenient for me.
What is the one habit that you think every entrepreneur could use?
As an entrepreneur, you should be very clear about the expectations you have from your business and chart out a clear path to achieve them. Yaman and I are pretty clear about how we want to run our platform. All the support groups are focused and straying away from the core topic isn’t permitted. The ethos runs with the group members. We do not allow bantering on any of our mommy support groups.
What is next for the Live Love Babywear Support Group?
We are in the process of plotting LLB’s future. I hope that new moms take advantage of our mommy support group and make informed decisions for their children. The larger picture of LLB is yet in the making.
What advice would you give Kidskintha’s new moms?
Please do not follow any advice blindly. Talk to a specialist or read on certified websites and get the correct information. Pregnant women should spend their time reading and getting prepared for the journey ahead. Pregnancy is the time to soak in the sea of information.
A popular myth every new mom has heard about their infant
When you start solids for your infant, you don’t have to wait three days before introducing a new food. A variety of foods can be introduced if there is no history of allergy in the family. The 3-day rule is only applicable for the eight allergens: eggs, cows milk, fish, shellfish, peanuts, wheat, soy, and tree nuts such as walnuts and almonds.
However, please consult your pediatrician before skipping the 3-day rule.